I wasn't always a willing team player. With regret I must confess that I sometimes balked when heading out to family gatherings. I should say "her" family gatherings. Mine were fine.
As Mackenzie has noted on this Polaroid we have Grandma Grandpa, Dad and Darryl. Christmas of 1994. The current Mrs. Blythe's folks, Loren and Doris, or as I called them, Lo and Do. They were nice people and, once they got over the shock of their daughter marrying me, hid their feelings admirably. I'd like to think that the more they got to know me the more they liked me, but then we often create fantasies to mask reality.
These guys were salt-of-the earth type people. "Salt-of-the-earth" types have gotten a bad rap: it can be kind lingo to describe hard working, no play folks. These guys worked hard but had fun, too. Ask Lo about the last Cubs game and he'd say he didn't pay any attention to them, then rattle off all the key plays. He also had a kind of strange sign language thing with the Wombie when he'd see him out working in Emerald City. He was crazy about Kenze and Brendan.
Do was the foundation of the household. You could tell that right off. And by foundation I mean chief chef, information center, activity director, director of procurement and someone you wanted on your side.
Lo and Do had kids, then waited about 15 years and started over again and had 2 more. Darryl was one of the older kids and, sadly, passed away a few years ago. The remaining siblings, Carolyn and Patti are nice and friendly to me - if charm hasn't yet won them over, then surely my longevity has.
By the looks of the picture I have been put in the corner, but in actuality, that was my favorite place - out of the spotlight, away from the hubbub and quietly observant, like a good in-law. I had my time-out spots to gather my wits and breath.
This photo is somewhat chilling to me - I am the only one alive. Life is short - I'm going out and have fun today. Tomorrow might be too late.